What happened to Apple’s lead in the podcasting space?

While Apple didn’t invent podcasting, the company did more than any other to establish the medium by including podcasts as an essential feature in iTunes. For years, the default place to get any podcast was iTunes. I mean, where else could you go?

Well, Spotify, for one.

Around a year ago, Spotify made a decision to invade the podcasting space for a not-so-obvious reason. While Spotify has to pay out royalties for all the music it offers, it does not have to pay out anything for podcasts. If, the reasoning went, Spotify could port 10-20% of listening time over to royalty-free podcasts, the company could retain subscribers, build market share in the streaming space, and pay out less in royalties. It fit in nicely with Spotify’s plans of being the place to go for all audio, not just music.

And so far, so good. According to Voxnest’s 2019 State of the Podcast Universe report, Spotify is now the place to go to get podcasts in Canada, Iceland, Greece, and Switzerland. A nice start.

From there, though, the markets are much smaller and less significant in the grand scheme of things. Still, Spotify is also ahead of Apple in Puerto Rico, Moldova, Suriname, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan, French Guiana, and Central African Republic.

Interesting point, too: Android consumption of podcasts is up 10.4% in the last year while iOS consumption is down 4.8%.

Meanwhile, Edison’s Podcast Consumer Tracker ranks podcast listening by genre this way:

  • Comedy, 36%
  • News, 23%
  • Society and culture, 22%
  • Sports, 15%
  • True crime, 12%

(Via Broadcast Dialogue)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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